What I Did Over the Summer

Good gracious, it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted…anything. As usual, it’s been a very hectic summer. And as we near the end of summer, I’m resurrecting the time-honored bane of every student’s existance: the “What I Did Over the Summer” essay.


As usual, I spent a very large part of the summer playing in community bands. This summer, I played 15 concerts in 3 different bands and also played in the orchestra for a musical. Summer band season wrapped up with my last concert on August 24. I love playing, but I’m glad it’s over for this year.


My mother has had some health issues over the last few months, so factored into all of this has been visiting her on a regular basis after work. I’m adjusting to a new normal now and I have to make real choices about how I spend my time.


I did, with all of this craziness, find time to get away a couple of times. Earlier this month, we went shared a HUGE house in Williamsport, PA with my wife’s parents, sisters, and their children. It ended up being a perfect blend of doing stuff and doing nothing. We also just got back from a long weekend in Lake Placid where we saw many of the Olympic venues, purchased insane amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and had a good time.

And the thing you’re (hopefully) curious about…Writing

And, believe it or not, I made progress on the writing front. I completed the fourth revision on The Reluctant Agent. I’m letting that sit for a bit and I’m working on some other projects. I finished a horror short story I started in January and I’m writing another horror short story based on something from my vacation. I also have ideas for another horror short story and a brand new idea for a novel that is not in my planned Reluctant series. Strangely, I’ve been remarkably creative, even though I haven’t had as much time to write as I’d like.

What Continues To Motivate Me To Write?

The answer to this question is two fold. 

First, it’s readers. I’ve been blessed that many people have read and enjoyed The Reluctant Captain and that means the most to me. Sure, I’d like to be a best-selling author, but I’m really happy to have people who genuinely anticipate my next book. To you, I say thank you…and be patient. It is coming.

The other answer is being part of the writing community. In this case, it’s an online community. I don’t have many writers that live near me, so I’m not part of a writer’s group. But as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve found podcasts that have really helped me feel part of the writing community. I’m now listening to three writing podcasts and finished a podcast about creativity. The podcasts are:
1.  Write Now by Sarah Rhea Werner
2.  Horrible Writing…and Whining by Paul Sating
3.  The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt by Andrew Chamberlain

These podcasts offer three different things. Write Now is inspiring and nurturing; Horrible Writing…And Whining is the kick in the pants you need to get going; and The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt is, not surprisingly, about the nuts and bolts of writing. I’ve really enjoyed this podcast because it’s the creative writing class I never had in college. A key feature common to all three podcasts is author interviews. I think I learn something from every one of these interviews and it really helps me feel like I’m part of the greater writing community 

1. Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

This podcast starts with Ms. Gilbert interviewing a person who is having some sort of creative issue. After she gathers the facts, she suggests an assignment to help move the person forward.  She then discusses the issue with some noted creative person who has had success in that creative field and gathers the advice. She checks in later with the person to see how they are progressing. It’s very inspirational and I know I related to one or more of the people in the podcast. There are only two seasons, but I think it’s worth a listen.

Wrap It Up Already…

That’s what I did with my summer. I hope that you had a great summer as well.

Happy Journeys,


PS – I know that summer is over so you won’t be taking a book to the beach, but it will be cold soon and you’ll want to snuggle up with a book. You could always jump over to the link on the top right of the page and pick up my book…I’m just saying…

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Endings, Beginnings, and NaNoWrMo…

Welcome back to the inconsistent world that is my blog.  I’m hope to be much more consistent in posting and sharing lots of news and other items with all of you (Here’s to good intentions and where they lead…).  Now onto the regularly scheduled blog already in progress…


Yes – I know I’m starting with the ending first….

I am heading into the home stretch of final editing of The Reluctant Captain for the remainder of the year and hope to be able to publish the book in the first quarter of 2015. I look forward to sharing my first book with you very soon. It’s very hard because part of me wants to hurry up and publish it now, but I want to make sure it’s a good book and that you will enjoy it.  My plan is to have it in many different formats (Kindle, iBook, Nook) as well as good old-fashioned paper.

Also, the blog as you know it will probably come to a close in the next few months.


But don’t be upset about missing out…a new and improved site should be coming out around the time that The Reluctant Captain launches.  My plan is to provide regular blog entries, news, giveaways, etc.  Stay tuned for further developments!

The other important beginning I want to mention is that I’ve started the next book in the Reluctant series…The Reluctant Agent. The story will take place some time after the events of The Reluctant Captain and follow Malcolm’s new adventures.  I’m in the very early stages, but I do have a good start and look forward to sharing that story with you when it’s ready (I will publish no novel before it’s time…if you get that reference, you’re as old as me).


What the heck is NaNoWriMo? It is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth…NaNoWriMo.  Simply put, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. NaNoWriMo is important to me because it finally got me into the habit of sitting at the computer and typing words.  Without it, The Reluctant Captain would not exist.  If you have any interest in writing, I urge you to check it out.  Yes, I realize that I’m a little late and you’ve already lost four days of the month, but check it out, even if only to plan to do it next year.  You can find lots of information at http://nanowrimo.org.

Between editing, work on the new novel, and a project from Hell in my day job, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year.  In fact because of NaNoWriMo, I’m not sure I’ll necessarily be doing it again because writing is going to become a year round endeavor for me and not confined to setting a month aside to write.  But I do encourage any of you that have any interest in writing to give it a try either this year or sometime in the future.  It changed my life for the better and I hope it does the same for you.

Until next time, happy journeys!


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